For this final post, I decided to analyze the documentary, Making of a Martyr. In the documentary we learned that children and young adults are targeted as potential suicide bombers. Children in general are usually easily led astray because of their innocence and desire to find acceptance. In these areas in the middle-east where martyrdom is prevalent, becoming a suicide bomber is a common way for kids to feel like they can belong to a social group, whereas before they may have felt like outsiders. The leaders of these resistance groups appear to be aware of this fact and prey on it, using children in a calculated move against their enemies. They prey on the naivety of the young people and use it to their advantage, promising them rewards for their martyrdom and downplaying the punishments if they are to be caught. Nassar, the friend of Hussan that introduced him to martyrdom, even told the filmmakers of this documentary that he was misled about his punishment. Nassar said that the group leaders told him that since he is a kid, his prison sentence if he were to get caught would be no more than two years, tops. Unfortunately for Nassar, he is facing at least 15 years in prison. He was not prepared for a punishment this harsh and said that his life was basically over.
Most of these young adults, especially younger children, reasonably don't have a firm grasp on what they are fighting for. They hero worship the martyrs and desire the same attention and reverence that those before them have received, even if it means the cost of their own lives. According to the documentary, these children are dreaming collectively on what it means to be a martyr and have no personal reasons for wanting to be martyrs. According to Castelli, “Martyrdom generates its own self-authorizing claims to a privileged status in relation to truth and public authority” (198). These children struggle for their own identity, something that every young person, whether they are Islamic, Christian, Jewish or non-religious etc. has to face. So when these martyrs are hero worshipped with plaques, banners and murals honoring their name, the children desire to be immortalized in this way as well. In a sense, they are trying to fit in with the crowd, similar to how teenagers try to be accepted by the popular cliques in high school. They want the status that comes with being a part of a social group like this, they want to feel important. Unfortunately for these children though, they live in a culture where finding your identity might involve strapping a bomb to your chest.